Triin Puusaar

Title: Key Factors Influencing the Implementation of the Once-Only Principle: Case Study of Estonia

Supervisors: Maarja Toots, MA; Prof. Dr. Tarmo Kalvet

Opponent: Madis Ehastu, MA, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication

Defense: 7 June 2019


Abstract: The once-only principle (OOP) is an e-government concept that aims to reduce administrative burden and financial costs. For achieving this, public sector organisations should not require data from citizens and businesses more than once but share and reuse the already collected information between other public sector organizations. Although the cross-border implementation of the OOP has recently gained importance in the European Union, there is not much research about the application of the OOP at the national level. The aim of this thesis is to examine the key factors that influenced the implementation of the OOP in Estonia and derive potential lessons that other countries could learn from when implementing the OOP at the national level. A descriptive case study is conducted on the initiation and implementation of the OOP in Estonia covering the period 1991-2004. The case seems to show that the initiation and actual implementation of the OOP were especially influenced by organisational (e.g. financial resources, inter- and intra-organisational collaboration), technological (e.g. ICT infrastructure, chosen technology for data exchange and data reuse) and institutional factors (i.e. supportive and flexible legislative system). In addition, as the case demonstrated several context-specific factors, other countries should rather design context-specific solutions than copy Estonian practices.


Keywords: once-only principle, e-government, factors influencing OOP, data exchange, data reuse